The Harvard field hockey team survived five Cornell corners in the last two minutes to tie the Big Red, 1-1, at Soldiers Field Saturday. So why is everybody upset?
For openers, the Crimson expected to win. Cornell arrived with a 2-6 record, including several dismal performances recently. The stickwomen, who proved against New Hampshire two weeks ago that they could play with anyone, owned a 3-3-1 mark and, after an embarrassing foray to Penn last Saturday, wanted to bounce back with their first Ivy win.
Secondly, the Crimson played well enough to win. "We had not played better than this in the past three or four games," coach Edie MacAusland said. Looking through a steady rain, MacAusland saw a lot she liked--forwards moving off the ball, short, crisp passes (on less-than-crisp turf) and, as always, fine play from the defense. "I can say this, which I couldn't say after (last week's 3-1 win over) Bowdoin," MacAusland added. "We played well consistently. I just feel for the kids because we did play well and it didn't pay off."
In addition, the Crimson needed the win. Ivy-wise, the squad is not in good shape with an 0-1-1 record and Dartmouth, Princeton and Yale still to come. Overall, the 3-3-2 mark doesn't look bad, but the tie with Cornell (at home) might--tournament selection committees are big on such things.
Rough Week Ahead
The tie puts added emphasis on the week to come, a grueling sequence which involves a local school (B.C.), a tough regional opponent (Springfield) and an Ivy rival (Dartmouth), the latter two on the road.
"This is the toughest week we've got," MacAusland said. "It's actually four games from Saturday to Saturday, and that's a lot. It will be interesting to see what happens."
The first of the four wasn't so interesting. Chris Sailer opened the scoring at 3:37 when she converted a Maureen Finn hit out and Sara LeBlond handstop into her third goal of the year, and second off a corner. Cornell's Terri Rider evened things up in the the 31st minute, and, except for the Big Red's last-minute rush, that was all.
THE NOTEBOOK--The numbers favored the stickwomen Saturday. They outshot Cornell, 17-9, controlled most of the action until the end, and despite the visitors' last-minute push, held a 17-14 edge in corners.
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